All Recipes, Sides

Tomato Salad

Tomato Salad

Tomatoes are available at supermarkets all year round, but only now is the right season for super tasty and juicy tomatoes that have soaked up all the summer sun. Now, they are at their best. There is so much you can do with tomatoes, but you know what I like best? A simple tomato salad, where that juicy tomato is the star.

The most simple way of course, is a delicious Caprese salad. Sliced tomato, with Mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of good olive oil and Balsamic vinegar, and if desired a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Nothing more. And all with minimum effort, just slice it up, dress on a plate, dig in. read more

#MondayMusings, Random Ramblings

Wild Food Foraging – enjoying what nature has to offer… or maybe not?

Wild food foraging

Wild food foraging – I guess that everyone has picked the odd berry here and there. Bushes are now full of juicy berries, soon you will find mushrooms in abundance. I must say, I have never picked wild mushrooms before. I would probably not be able to tell the edible ones from the poisonous ones. Well, some I might, but I would be too scared to pick the wrong ones and get horribly sick from eating them.

But I have picked wild fruits before, like blackberries or blueberries. Now is the perfect season for it. While we were on holiday in the Eifel, we’ve come across many blackberry bushes, full of juicy berries, during our walks. Of course, we could not resist picking a few. So good! But… is it allowed to pick berries in the wild? Or any other fruit? Or mushrooms for that matter? I could not help but look slightly anxiously around, whether someone was watching us when we picked those berries. read more

All Recipes, Breakfast, Desserts

Nectarine Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Neactarine Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Have you ever made Bread Pudding before? It’s a perfect way to use up stale bread and I can’t believe I have never tried it. This recipe is one of those that are the result of throwing together some ingredients that need to be used before you have to throw them out. Another recipe that I came up with during our holiday at the farm.

Using up ingredients

I had a whole baguette left from a barbecue two days earlier. Too dry and too hard to eat it like that. There is a lot you can do with a stale baguette:

  • make bread crumbs/panko (let it dry out even more and then blitz it up in a food processor)
  • make croutons (cut into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, add garlic and spices, toss, then roast in the oven until golden brown, great on salads or in soups)
  • cut it open, add tomato sauce, ham/salami, cheese and pop it under the grill
  • make french toast

I also had a few nectarines that needed to be eaten soon. Seeing them together on the counter, I realized that I could go a totally different direction with that. Sweet instead of savory. Being at a farm, I had more than enough fresh milk and eggs at my disposal. But… I did not have my cabinet with spices. The stash I keep at a holiday home, is very minimal. Luckily, a previous guest had left some cinnamon. Hallelujah! read more

#MondayMusings, Random Ramblings

Holiday at the farm

Holiday at the farm. You either hate it, or you love it. For us, it’s the perfect family holiday. It’s been four years since we’ve taken our first holiday at a farm. Unfortunately, the first two times were a bit disappointing. Other than holiday home rentals (at really good accommodations, I have to admit), this was far from what we expected from a holiday at a farm. The description of the farms let us believe that the kids would truly experience living and playing on a farm, but there was virtually nothing to do there. What a scam. Maybe we needed to adjust our expectations. But we did not want to simply rent a holiday home for a few weeks. We wanted a place where the kids could learn more about farm animals and life at a farm. read more

All Recipes, Sides

Couscous Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Couscous Salad & Roasted Vegetables

Couscous salad is a staple in our house for parties and barbecues. You can add basically anything you want, but my absolute favorite is couscous with roasted or grilled vegetables. And feta. The feta is optional of course. If you have eaters that don’t like feta or cheese in general, simply serve it as a separate topping, so everyone can add it if they want to.

We had a barbecue with all the guests at the farm, where we’re staying during our holiday, and everyone brought something. There was potato salad, bell pepper salad, egg salad, macaroni salad, garlic bread and more. And I decided to make this couscous salad. I usually grill the vegetables, but as I did not have a griddle or grilling pan, I roasted them. Which is just as delicious! Got raving reviews from the other guests and more than a few asked for the recipe. So I decided to share it with everyone :). read more

#MondayMusings, Reviews

A day out: Dinosaurierpark Teufelsschlucht

Dinopark

Crazy about dinosaurs

Those who know our kids a little bit, know that they are crazy about dinosaurs. And that even is an understatement. I don’t know how many dinosaurs we have at home, but if it’s up to the boys, more will join the crowd. While our youngest loves to play with dinosaurs and loves to watch movies and documentaries, our oldest has really started to take interest in the history of dino’s, how they came to exist, how they lived, how they developed and how they became extinct.

Dinopark Dinopark read more

All Recipes, Cakes, Bars & more

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow is this week’s Crea-Cross 2017 challenge. For those of you, who don’t know yet what this Crea-Cross 2017 entails, check out Kreanimo, an inspiring personal blog with loads of creative ideas, for more information.

Although I’ve contributed just last week, I’m not a very regular contributor to the challenge. To some, I might even be a bit of a strange addition to all those creative bloggers. But hey, cooking is all about creativity as well. But I have to admit that it can be quite hard to come up with a recipe that expresses clearly the given challenge. But not so this week’s prompt: rainbow. I’m proud to be a co-host yet again, and I’m not alone this week. Anne from Simple Thoughts is co-hosting this week’s challenge as well. Go check out her blog with loads of DIY idea’s, beauty tips, recipes and so much more. Please feel free to share your own idea’s, work etc related to this week’s prompt, using the blue button at the end of this post. read more

#MondayMusings, Reviews

Review: Restaurant Broertjes

Review Broertjes

As you could read in my previous “MondayMusings” blogpost, we were all alone last week. Both the boys were at summer camp. I did have some very mixed feelings about that. But one of the advantages of being kid free for a couple of days, is that we can go out for dinner at a fancy restaurant, just the two of us.

Now I don’t mean fancy as in ‘dress code’ fancy. But with two kids at 6 and 8, not every restaurant is just as suitable. And where do we love to go? To ‘Restaurant Broertjes’ in Dommelen (small town famous for the Dutch beer brand ‘Dommelsch’). read more

All Recipes, Cookies

Star Wars Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

StarWarsCookies

Star Wars Cookies? For real? Yes, for real.

That’s kind of the short version of my conversation with the boys when I showed them what I had made. Their eyes almost popped out of their heads when they saw them. Followed by questions and remarks in the range of ‘are these Star Wars Cookies?’, ‘are they edible?’, ‘are those real cookies?’, ‘can we have these cookies?’, ‘are they really for us?’, ‘wow, how did you do that?’, ‘you really made these yourself?’, ‘WOW’, ‘COOL’, etc. And now imagine two excited boys jumping up and down, talking simultaneously, that my ears started ringing. Get the picture? read more

#MondayMusings, Random Ramblings

Summer camp… and now we’re alone

Alone…

The house is so quiet. After we’ve brought the boys to summer camp, we’re coming home to an empty house. Well, not entirely empty, of course. We’re greeted happily by a dog and a cat. But it feels different. Of course it’s not the first time that I’m coming home to an empty house. When the boys are at school, at a friend’s house or at the sports club. It’s quiet then as well. But this silence feels different. Normally, I can enjoy the silence, having some peace and quiet. Because I know it will be over soon and there will be a lot of noise again. But not this time. There will be no noise. Not today. Not tomorrow. We’re alone. read more